Most people will snub the idea of independent publishing in favor of the larger companies. For a writer, it is not that easy to become the next Maya Angelou or James Patterson; it is quite a competitive business. But Creative Talents Unleashed gives authors a chance to get involved with a tight knit community of writers and create opportunities for those who are just getting started.
Posting quotes, poetry, writing tips and prompts to the blog and social media sites through the course of the day, a writer can be filled with information and inspiration. Participants are also chosen randomly and their work is often highlighted in the Featured Writer category. A writer also has the chance to submit their work for contests and anthologies throughout the year. CTU is a place where any writer – amateur or professional – can share and hone their skills.
It was a writer with a kind heart who started it all.
Raja Williams dedicates all of her spare time to keep CTU alive. It was not what she really strived to do, but destiny had other plans and she embraced the calling. Her young company continues to grow and she is hoping to take it to the next level soon.
Raja was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to share some intimate details about her life, her aspirations, and the history of Creative Talents Unleashed. She is a true gem, shining bright in a world covered in darkness every day.
Meet Ms. Raja Williams:
I was born in Newport Beach, California in 1970 and have one younger sibling. I came into this world as a strong, independent, creative force. At the age of eight I self-published my first book “Great Original Stories” by Raja Ward, with the help of a wonderful elementary school teacher. By twelve, I was an entrepreneur; offering babysitting services, selling fresh fruit grown from our back yard, and creating and marketing summer music performances. As a young adult I took on a career mentoring at-risk-youth in group homes, juvenile hall, and after school programs. I have always had a gift; connecting with people is not a choice, but a natural occurrence for me.
On Her Writing:
I have known from an early age that someday I would publish a book. I have most of my childhood writing stored, and enjoy looking back on my young minds perspective. I wrote from an early age until a young adult raising my own family. At that time, life got in the way and I put down my pen for nearly twenty years. In 2012, through a friendship my writing self was awoken, and my pen came back to life just in time to win a full publishing contract, enabling me to publish my first book “The Journey Along The Way” with Inner Child Press. And in 2015 I released my latest volume of poetry “Imprints In The Sand” with Creative Talents Unleashed.
I am also working on two books that have been a slow progress for me. The first book is my youngest son’s story. At the age of six he was diagnosed with Autism, and the world as we knew it dramatically changed. I have documented his journey and hope that someday, when published, it can help another parent struggling in the world of Autism find light at the end of the tunnel. The second book is a book about active listening.
I write from the heart and soul, I do not follow rules, and firmly believe in the freedom of expression.
There are no rules, when you are writing from your source; your heart.
– Raja’s Insight
I am inspired by nature and music most. Quite often music moves me to tears, especially when watching it performed. And there is nothing like the beauty and serenity of nature to invigorate the soul.
What inspired you to start Creative Talents Unleashed?
While publishing my first book, so many writer’s started reaching out to me asking for tips, advice, and assistance. As I stated before, people have a natural gravitational pull to me. Writers from all around the world were sending me messages asking if I would mentor them. There were so many that I decided to start a page on Facebook where I could share the tips, and advice to everyone at once, hence Creative Talents Unleashed was born. The page offered daily writing prompts, tips, and a place to showcase writers. I had no idea that our writer’s community would move from a creative platform to a publishing group as that was not the original intention. But through assisting author Lindsey F. Rhodes with his manuscript from start to finish I was asked by him to publish his book CrossRhodes, and found that, this is where my true talents were, and I could help others with their publishing dreams. So in 2014 I made the move from a creative platform, to a publishing house by obtaining a business license and assisting writers with their manuscripts.
What makes Creative Talents Unleashed stand out from vanity publishers?
CTU operates like a non-profit business. We are a community of authors, striving to make a difference in the world with our words. Most of our authors have been published free of financial obligation, or at very little financial cost. I immediately set up a fund called “The Starving Artist Fund” to help assist writers in becoming published authors, as I can see the struggle to come up with the funds it takes to become a published author and recognize that the journey in self-publishing is a hard one.
We know, and understand that writers from all over the world need help and are looking for assistance and we hope to provide that assistance. We operate with integrity, assist you in marketing, and the 25% publisher royalty is given back into our community to assist our writers. We don’t believe in charging hundreds of dollars, or even thousands to publish a book. We work with the actual “Costs” it takes to make a book and welcome you into an amazing family of authors.
What have been some of your favorite moments while taking on this project?
Watching it grow has been the sweetest reward in the selfless efforts to assist others. Watching writer’s with little confidence, gain confidence and blossom. Receiving messages from writers that make you remember why you started the journey. I recently received an email from a new writer that stumbled upon our Facebook page Creative Talents Unleashed. His message read “I never imagined that I would share my writing in a public forum, I never even completed grade school as a child. But through your page I found my voice, was welcomed with open hearts and non–judgments, and because of this I am wanting to return to school, to educate myself, and some day publish my story.” It is these messages that move me, remind me, and inspire me to keep assisting writers. It is also a great honor to see the authors I have assisted hold their book in their hands for the first time. I am humbled and over joyed by the experience every time. There are so many wonderful memories, these are just a few, and the future holds so many more. Thank you.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years with CTU?
CTU is rapidly growing and gaining momentum in the literary community. We will continue to build upon the “Starving Artist” fund to assist writers, offer more publishing opportunities, and events. We are currently in the planning stages of moving toward securing a physical establishment where we can offer both publishing services as well as live events from our establishment. We want to come full circle, and offer the opportunity for all artist’s to have a home. We hope to in the future establish a home and host events not only for writers, but musicians and artists as well.
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things, and Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem and the injustices many face.
Find out more about her here:
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Photo Credit: © Donna J. Sanders & Raja Williams
Categories: Creative Talents Unleashed